Don’t try to gain an unfair advantage over their competition by paying for reviews…it could cost you.
I was browsing the net and ran across a Facebook page that offered to incentivize its fans if they were willing to post a physical therapy reviews on Yelp for one or more of their locations.
There are a number of reasons why physical therapy practice owners don’t want to do this.
1. It’s illegal in some states (New York for one). http://officialblog.yelp.com/2013/09/yelp-and-ny-ag-go-after-fake-review-industry.html
2. It’s against Yelp’s terms and conditions. http://officialblog.yelp.com/2013/12/paid-reviews-dont-have-a-place-on-yelp.html
3. It’s unethical
4. See bullet point number one again.
If I Had a Dollar for Every Yelp Complaint
I’ve had dozens of clients call me and complain about Yelp filtering good reviews, removing good reviews, not removing bad reviews that are against their own terms and conditions, their sales people calling and if the practice doesn’t advertise, reviews are removed, etc. Yelp is an imperfect and for-profit company.
Shift Your Focus to Google…and Do It Right
I do recommend you shift your focus to Google. While Yelp is popular for reviews, Google get a lot more people using it to look for your PT practice. You will stick out like a sore thumb if you have 6+ Gold Star (or green star reviews) Google reviews and your competition has none.
I also understand the market is competitive and there is nothing wrong with competing for business. However, when it comes to misleading people by providing fake or paid Yelp reviews, there’s no place for this. Take the time to learn Yelp’s Terms and Conditions and to earn them the “good old fashioned way”, by providing great care and asking properly.
Take the high road. Don’t buy reviews. It’s the right way to publicize your physical therapy practice.